Why Are You Constipated? 10 Healthy Foods That Help You Poop

Straining on toilet

The strain. You know the strain… It’s the strain after eating your mother's extra cheesy spaghetti. Congrats you are constipated.

What is constipation?

Constipation

Constipation is dropping the Browns off at the Superbowl less than 3 times a week. Well, technically that’s the definition. However, some people “go” more or less than others. We all know that friend who has to stop 3 times on a 50-mile trip. So keep in mind, it's relative to how many times you usually go. For example, if you usually go once every day and start going only twice a week, then you are constipated, for sure. 


Some other symptoms of constipation include: 

  1. Hard or dry poop
  2. Painful or difficult to pass poop
  3. Feeling like you still have poop inside you

How common is constipation? 

At least 2.5 million people see their doctor each year due to constipation, so that means it’s pretty common.


But how does constipation it happen?

Constipation - symptoms, treatment - Southern Cross NZ

When you are constipation, your stools are dry, hard, and difficult to move out of the body. This is the straining we were talking about earlier. This happens because your colon dried out to much water from your poop. The colon absorbs waste from your small intestine. Food may move too slowly through the digestive tract and this gives the colon more time – too much time – to absorb water from the waste. The stool becomes dry, hard, and difficult to push out. It's can literally be a pain in the ass.


The causes of constipation

You ever drink a lot of beer and eat a lot of cheese pizza in college? Yeah, that will back you up.

Your diet plays a big role in keeping the pipes greased.


Some common causes of constipation include:

  • Low fiber
  • Dehydration
  • Low exercise
  • Traveling, eating, and sleeping at different times.
  • Large amounts of cheese
  • Stress
  • Holding it in for too long 

Remember that the next time you neglect to take your dog out. You can also have stomach aches cramps or pain, and feel bloated and nauseous.  


In general when you experience constipation you want to exercise, drink more water, and increase your fiber. Very simple. 


These are some foods you might want to try to the gears juicing. (In no specific order)

Beans (7-9 grams of fiber per half-cup)

The 9 Healthiest Beans and Legumes You Can Eat

Most beans are high in fiber. Beans contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Both of these play a key role in digestion. Soluble fiber absorbs water like a sponge, giving your poop a gel-like consistency that’s easier to move. Insoluble fiber stays intact throughout the digestive tract and adds bulk to your poop. You should definitely try to get both in your diet.

 

Artichokes (7 grams of fiber per 128 grams)

What Is an Artichoke?

Some research shows that artichokes have pre-biotic properties. Prebiotics are a special type of fiber that promotes optimal gut health by feeding the good bacteria found in your colon. Artichokes are a great source of pre-biotics.

 

Prunes (2 grams of fiber per 28 oz’s)

7 Health Benefits of Plums and Prunes

Prunes are super high in fiber with a whopping 2 grams per 28oz’s. Often used as a natural laxative, prunes are also a good source of sorbitol. Sorbitol draws water into the intestine, stimulating you to go.

 

Flaxseeds  (27 grams of fiber per 100 grams)

Top 10 Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

Ground flaxseeds are beneficial for your body and bowel movements. These small seeds pack a punch by providing your body with a variety of nutrients such as polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and soluble fiber.

 

Oatmeal (4 grams of fiber per cup)

How to Make Oatmeal {every way possible!} - Fit Foodie Finds

Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Oats are also a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, and zinc. 

 

Pears (3.1 grams of fiber per 100 grams)

7 Types and Varieties of Pears, Plus Delicious Pear Recipes ...

Pears are another fruit on the list that are high in fiber. Like prunes, pears contain Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that acts as an osmotic agent to pull water into the intestines and stimulate a bowel movement. Pears are also enriched with fructose, a type of sugar that can only be metabolized in certain amounts. Similarly to sorbitol, unabsorbed fructose acts as a natural laxative by bringing water into the intestines. 

 

Nuts (7 grams of fiber per 100 grams)

Gourmet Mixed Nuts | Virginia Nuts | Whitleys Peanut Factory

Pecans, Peanuts, and almonds are good sources of soluble fiber and healthy fats. While recommended to help with constipation, Nuts have antioxidants like tocopherols and may also help reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes, prevent weight gain, and increase your lifespan.

 

Whole grains (7 grams per 100 grams)

The 9 Essential Whole Grain Foods You Need in Your Diet | Cooking ...

Everybody knows that whole grains are better for you than refined grains like white rice. It is recommended that you substitute whole grains into your diet by replacing refined grains, rather than adding them. Like nuts, wholegrains have a slew of health benefits such as preventing weight gain, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Whole-grains are also a good source of B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, as well as minerals like selenium and iron that help develop the body's immune system and muscles.

 

Coffee

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We all know coffee can get you going, especially in the morning. Several studies have shown that caffeine can activate contractions in your colon and intestinal muscles. Research has shown that caffeine makes the colon 60% more active than water and 23% more active than decaf coffee. While coffee can definitely help get things moving, keep in mind, coffee also dehydrate you which will produce the opposite effect you want. So drink in moderation with plenty of water. Read more about why coffee makes you poop.

 

Kefir

Experiments in Kefir — Westcombe Cultures

Fermented beverages are rich in probiotics, which are helpful bacteria that support improved gut health. Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that contains both bacterial and fungal species that support aid digestion and may alleviate constipation. Probiotics have been found to increase poop frequency, consistency, and reduce the transit time through the intestine. 


Bottom Line:

Everyone will become constipated at some point. In most cases, by making small healthy changes to your lifestyle, you can get things moving in the right direction again. 


Save this list to your notes: 


Foods that help with constipation:

  1. Beans
  2. Artichokes
  3. Prunes
  4. Flaxseeds
  5. Oatmeal
  6. Pears
  7. Nuts
  8. Whole grains
  9. Coffee
  10. Kefir

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